Patriot Box Office Media Player Review

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Conclusion

The Patriot Box Office media player appliance is by far the most capable video player we’ve currently tested.  It can connect up to practically any hosting device you can think of, from local devices to UPNP servers and just about any networked device.  It does lack NetFlix and YouTube capability, but this may be coming.  The fact that this device can output 1080p and consume under 10 watts of power with all the bells and whistles enabled is simply amazing.

There is no wireless networking option out of the box, and adding this feature will cost you a USB port. Video quality was supurb, but of course that depends greatly on the quality of the video file.  The unit plays full 1080p content without a hiccup, and fast-forward other navigation is almost instantaneous.

The user interface is the only serious flaw with this device, which has no pizzaz at all.  No animation, thumbnails, or status indicators that you expect from a high-quality media center device such as the PS3 or HTPC interface.  This usability issue could greatly impact if the whole family will be able to use the device.  Ask yourself if you really want to be called away every time the kids want to watch a movie?  Otherwise the Box Office does its job well, as it is extremely functional, barely sips electricity, and plays just about any media format you can throw its way.  All of this and the player costs under $100.

REPORT CARD : Patriot Box Office Media Player
category rating comments
Quality 4 Video and audio quality is great.  Hardware quality also appears rock-solid.  The interface needs some work, though.
Innovation 3 Kudos for giving birth to a product that addresses the lines between an appliance and HTPC, but the interface needs a lot more work
Performance 5 It totally gets the job done and plays just about anything
Installation 5 Very easy to get up and going, regardless of your Home Theater setup
Value 5 It may lack polish, but it gets the job done, and for far less than the competition
FINAL VERDICT: 4 out of 5 stars
Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.